Wilbur Knoll’s Cloverdale Autograph Book

A young Wilbur Knoll of Cloverdale left us a rather damaged yet insightful view into student life in the late 1920’s. I chose to display only a sample of the entries in this autograph book but all of them convey a sweetness about them. It was clear that his classmates held him in esteem. Wilbur would live into his 80’s and retired as a mechanic.

Wilbur Knoll 1
“I know that you know that I know you know I don’t know nothing.”

Continue reading “Wilbur Knoll’s Cloverdale Autograph Book”

Confederate Banknote

The PCPL Archive is a place of discovery. Case in point…I have viewed a certain subject file several times but just recently did I take the time to open an envelope which contained a $20 Confederate banknote. What a pleasant surprise! This particular one is of the last series to be produced by the Confederates and depicts the Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens. The building is the Tennessee State Capital.

Continue reading “Confederate Banknote”

Preaching to the Choir

This is part of a letter included in a recent donation of items to the archive where one gentlemen is writing another about the contents and other interest. The letter is about 25 years old.

“Sometimes we know about local events over a hundred years ago than more recent ones.”

“I hope the new history section of the Public Library will encourage people to turn over materials in their attics for preservation.”

So true on the first quote and ‘Amen Brother’ on the second one.


The following are illustrations or ‘doodlings’ of one of the county’s employees around the mid 1850’s. It is a common occurrence to find such illustrations when going through various collections. I find these little works of art interesting, insightful as well as humanizing. Continue reading “Doodles”

Wilbur Kurtz

One of my favorite collections at PCPL is the Dr. Overstreet Collection (1990.036). Of special interest in this collection is his correspondence with Wilbur Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz lived in Greencastle as a young man prior to having a successful career as an artist/historian in the Atlanta area. Among his many accomplishments was his role as the official historian for Gone With the Wind Continue reading “Wilbur Kurtz”

The O’Hair Collection

I highly encourage you to come and visit the PCPL archives and do a bit of exploring of our various collections. Today I thought I might show you one of my favorite collections which has to do with the O’Hair family. The collection is small (one cubic foot) but it is full of interesting items, some I am confident have not been researched fully (hint: you may be the first to discover something new!). These images show some items I picked that I either find historically important to Putnam County or simply interesting and pleasing to study.

I am not going to number the photographs but what you should be looking at is the O’Hair Family reunion journal beginning in 1873. I have yet to read it but originally they are writing on Christmas day (later they change that tradition) and I believe will probably give some detail about how their family celebrated that day. There are merit cards for young scholars as well as an invitation from a teacher for parents and the public to view exhibits at Powell’s School House. That particular invitation you will note is from 1847, one of the earlier Putnam County school documents in our collection. In that same vein there are several penmanship books that the O’Hair’s saved from their school days. And lastly, one of my favorite items is an undated “Recipe for the Color Red”.

Again, I highly encourage you to come visit me at the archive and I will make collections such as this one available to you either for your research or entertainment. This particular collection is called “O’Hair Family Papers” accession number 1990.023.

O’Hair Family Reunion Journal
Merit Awards
1847 School invitation. Note that it gives a general location of the school.
Making the color red

Albin Civil War Diary

This is one of my favorite items to show visitors who tour our archive. It is a civil war diary kept by Felix G. Albin in 1865. Of interest is the April 15th entry where he makes note of the death of Abraham Lincoln. There is something touching about seeing an actual soldier’s short entry of such a monumental tragedy.


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